- LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record
- He is now the NBA’s all-time leading scorer
- Abdul-Jabbar first broke the scoring mark in 1984
Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has surpassed Kareem Abdul Jabbar’s record to become the NBA’s all-time leading scorer.
James scored 38 points in a 133-130 loss against the Oklahoma City Thunder to break Abdul-Jabbar’s 1989 record of 38,387 points.
Abdul-Jabbar first broke the scoring mark in 1984, eight months to James’ birth. When he rose to a celebrity basketball player, James said he always envied the success that Abdul-Jabbar’s had in the NBA.
With a fadeaway jumper at the end of the third quarter, James, 38, who needed 36 points to break the record, finally achieved his dream. He finished the game with a career total of 38,390 points.
While Abdul-Jabbar, 75, who was there at the game on the Lakers’ home court, stood and cheered, an emotional James raised both arms in delight.
A ceremony to celebrate the accomplishment was held during a brief break in play, and James took the podium to speak on the court.
He thanked his fans for their support in the last two decades because they pushed him to be better and do more in carving his NBA legacy.
“Everybody that has ever been a part of this run with me the last 20-plus years, I want to say thank you so much because I wouldn’t be me without all you. You all helped. Your passion and sacrifices helped me to get to this point,” he remarked as quoted by BBC Sport.
He posthumously thanked David Stern, and NBA Commissioner Adam Silver for the opportunity they gave him to become a basketball star.
“And to the NBA to Adam Silver, to the late great David Stern, thank you very much for allowing me to be a part of something I always dreamed about. I would never in a million years dreamt this to be even better than what it is tonight,” he added.
Abdul-Jabbar ceremoniously turned the ball over to James to acknowledge his new record. This was amid cheers to In front of a cheering throng that included tennis great John McEnroe, rapper Jay-Z, all-time boxing champion Floyd Mayweather Jr and actor Denzel Washington.
Other celebrities present were Bad Bunny, and LL Cool J. Abdul-Jabbar said that he always knew that a time would come when someone would break the record.
He praised James’ as a player who never loses focus of what he wants in life and the effort he put into breaking the record as NBA’s all-time scorer.
“LeBron’s career is an example of someone who set out to win this match. You have to give him respect for the way he played, for how long he persevered, and for his dominance,” said the 75-year-old retired basketballer.
James, now a four-time NBA champion, is in his 20th season in the NBA, having been drafted first overall by his hometown team, the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003.
The forward joined the Miami Heat in 2010, winning two titles, before returning to lead Cleveland to the only NBA title in their history in 2016.
He has been with the Lakers since 2018 and helped them win the 2020 title, which was also the fourth time he has been named NBA finals MVP.
Two-time Olympic champion James has won four regular season MVP titles and appeared in the NBA Finals 10 times.
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